Tattoo #A6295

Grandfather’s passing was

a whisper—

a final billowing

and undulating


that drew over our heads

curled in our nostrils

heady and suffocating

mist of ash.

He lived a muted life;

but not for loss of words.

He was penitent;

as if the sound of his voice

would rouse the ghosts

he’d left behind.

And so, our home was


by six million silent voices.

There was no room

for speech in our home—

quiet tribute

to what he could not forget,

a soundproof


vacuum of ash

and all memory.

Pessie Horowitz is a graphic artist and mother of four. She currently lives in Rockland County, New York, and is working on completing a book of poetry.

This article was featured in the Summer 2007 issue of Jewish Action.
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